Posts in Category: Performance Poetry

Úr órum Tobba (From the Madness of Tobbi) by Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl

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Poem and reading by Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl

This is a sound-poem in homage to a 17th-century Icelandic nonsense poet called Æri-Tobbi, or Crazy Tobbi, whose poetry is discussed at length in a fascinating essay archived at Norðdahl’s blog: “Mind the Sound” (hat-tip: Poetry News).

The categorical difference between sound-poetry and instrumental-music (including sound-poetry’s cousin, scat-singing) is that the listener inevitably interprets what he or she hears as ‘language’ – not only is it the framework that the work is presented within, but it’s also inherent to much of the actual work, that it actually ‘resembles’ language. […]

In early 2008 I wrote the poem ‘Úr órum Tobba’, (trans. From the madness of Tobbi) a six-to-seven minute long sound-poem carved from Æri-Tobbi’s zaum. The poem was first performed at the Scream Poetry Festival in Toronto, at the Lexiconjury Revival Night, and has in fact not been performed since (although published on CD, along with more of my sound-poems).

‘Úr órum Tobba’ is at once a found poem and sound poem, collaged and cut-up lines of zaum taken from the quatrains, tercets and couplets of Æri-Tobbi – the first of the thirteen stanzas is written thus:

Axar sax og lævarar lax
Axar sax og lævarar lax
Hoppara boppara hoppara boppara
stagara jagara stagara jagara
Neglings steglings veglings steglings
Skögula gögula ögula skögula
hræfra flotið humra skotið
Axar sax og lævarar lax

Each stanza has eight lines, and all are intersected with two of Æri-Tobbi’s most famous zaum-lines:

Agara gagara agara gagara
vambara þambara vambara þambara

Facing It by Yusef Komunyakaa

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http://youtu.be/IaeNQC7PWK4

Poem by Yusef Komunyakaa

Read by Michael Lythgoe for the Favorite Poem Project

“Methought I saw my late espoused Saint…” by John Milton

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Sonnet 23 by John Milton

Recited by Ian Richardson, from the 1984 TV series “Six Centuries of Verse,” directed by Richard Mervyn

If I Controlled the Internet by Rives

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Poem by Rives, from TED (video link)

Tiara by Mark Doty

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Poem by Mark Doty

From Taylor Mali’s Page Meets Stage reading series at the Bowery Poetry club in NYC.

African-American folk poetry: gandy dancers

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Excerpt of a film by Barry Dornfeld and Maggie Holtzberg-Call

Gandy dancers were the guys who straightened track. A YouTube preview from a full-length documentary (not embeddable) on Folkstreams.net.

Meta-Free-Phor-All

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The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Meta-Free-Phor-All: Shall I Nail Thee to a Summer’s Day?
comedycentral.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor NASA Name Contest

Something for April Fool’s Day — and the first day of (Inter-)National Poetry Month — from a king of fools. This episode of the Colbert Report aired on April 19, 2007. Colbert seems to genuinely like poetry, and has interviewed a number of poets on his show. I like the way this skit plays off the misconception popular with people who “just don’t understand poetry”: that a poem (or metaphor) is basically a code with one correct solution. I’m also impressed by Robert Pinksy’s stage presence and acting skills.